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Acne Treatment Skin Care
There are plenty of acne treatment skin care products on the market and it is not surprising when you consider how many people suffer from acne in some form. It is an almost inevitable part of growing up in western cultures. 85% of American teenagers suffer from it, and for many people it continues well into adulthood, although it usually becomes less severe after the teenage years.
People with acne often suffer from low self esteem because of self consciousness about the acne which is unsightly and sometimes painful. There are many possible treatments including hormonal and antibiotic treatments which may be taken internally. The first thing that you should do if your acne is severe is to visit your doctor who will assess what might best help you. These are some of the treatments that may be indicated.
Acne is rare in non-westernized countries but starts to appear whenever a culture begins to adopt a western diet, so it seems that diet is a very significant factor. Dairy products, high levels of saturated fats and blood glucose imbalances caused by sugar are all thought to contribute, so avoid those foods when you can.
Although acne is not caused by dirt but by blockages in the hair follicles, it can be helpful to wash and exfoliate your skin regularly to clear away the dead tissue that can add to blockages and worsen the appearance of acne. Often this process will also improve the appearance of blackheads. Washing with soap and something that is gently abrasive like a face cloth can be enough to exfoliate the skin, or you can buy cleansers that either contain small beads that abrade the skin or pads soaked in salicylic or glycolic acid. Do not exfoliate too frequently, especially if you are using acid on your skin. You may damage the skin causing redness that can look worse than the acne.
3. Bactericidal Creams, Gels and Washes
Bactericidal products are applied to the areas where outbreaks occur. Most often these are over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide in various strengths. As well as killing the bacteria in acne that has already formed, benzoyl peroxide kills the keratin that clogs the pores, so it helps to prevent future outbreaks. Applied twice a day over several weeks, this has been found to reduce the appearance of acne by around 65%. However it often causes redness, dryness and irritation. You can stop for a while and then try again with a lower strength product if this occurs. A moisturizer formulated for acne-prone skin will also help.
Benzoyl peroxide is a mild bleach and may cause discoloration of hair and clothing. Keep it away from eyebrows and facial hair.
Your doctor or dermatologist may prescribe antibiotic creams (topical antibiotics). Unfortunately the common form of acne is becoming more resistant to antibiotics and they are not as effective as they once were, with the acne reappearing very quickly when treatment is stopped. For this reason oral antibiotics are not as commonly prescribed as in the past, although they can help clear up an outbreak in the short term. Antibiotic cream can be used for longer periods.
Although sunlight often clears up acne in the short term, in the long term it only encourages the skin to produce more oils that blog the pores. Recently however scientists have found that using selective light therapy in the form of visible blue light applied daily can have the effect of reducing acne by up to 65%, and up to 75% if red light is added. You do need special equipment which comes at a cost but compared with the cost of buying other acne products week after week for several years it is not excessive.
Although it may not be realistic to expect acne to disappear completely, there is much that can be done with acne treatment skin care to lessen its severity and make life happier and easier for those who are affected by it.
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